Unemployment benefits can lead to work and entrepreneurship
The Government proposes that in future unemployment benefits could be used to promote employment, i.e. to finance start-up grants, pay subsidies and mobility allowances. Moreover, the use of the work trial would be expanded on a trial basis and unemployed jobseekers would be interviewed every three months.
On 20 October 2016 the Government submitted to Parliament a proposal on acts amending the Act on Public Business and Employment Service, the Unemployment Security Act and the Employment Contracts Act.
“We intend to improve flexibility in the unemployment security system so that the resources allocated to address unemployment would better help jobseekers to find work and become entrepreneurs,” Minister of Justice and Employment Jari Lindström says.
In future, unemployment benefits could be used for start-up grants, pay subsidies and mobility allowances targeted to the unemployed. The aim is to increase flexibility in the use of appropriations, secure access to services and increase regional mobility.
The amendments concerning pay subsidies to employers and start-up grants encouraging entrepreneurship would be in force until the end of 2018. Mobility allowances are a new type of support, combining the present travel allowance and compensations for moving costs.
The Government proposal also includes a proposal on a recruitment trial. The use of the work trial would be expanded on a trial basis so that it could be used to assess a jobseeker’s suitability before entering into an employment contract. The entirely voluntary recruitment trial would last up to one month. Its purpose is to promote access to employment and to lower employers’ threshold to employ unemployed jobseekers. The provisions on the recruitment trial would be in force in 2017 and 2018.
The Government also intends to speed up access to employment by reinforcing employment services. One of the new measures is closer contacts with jobseekers. The Government proposes that all jobseekers would be interviewed and their employment plan adjusted every three months in cases of uninterrupted unemployment.
“The interviews are meant to benefit the jobseekers. The goal is that jobseekers find new employment and that vacancies are filled as quickly as possible,” Minister Lindström emphasises.
The Government also wants to encourage jobseekers to take short-term jobs on a commission. Unemployed jobseekers would, as a rule, retain their right to unemployment benefit if the commission-based work lasts no longer than two weeks. Income from the short-term work would, however, affect the amount of unemployment benefit.
Juha Halttunen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Justice and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 0066
Päivi Pihlajisto, Senior Government Adviser, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, tel. +358 29 50 49011